Sunday, October 4, 2009

Just Plain Sick of it All!

For many years of my adult life I have enjoyed the changing seasons and the opportunity to decorate my house according to the holidays. For example, the obvious ones like Christmas and Halloween have always been my chance to really go all out with lights or wreathes or floral displays, but I find the whole thing more of a bore now than anything. I used to worship at the altar of Martha Stewart in the 90's. I relished the arrival of her magazine every month and although I never actually copied her ideas, I was inspired by them. I preferred to use my own imagination and did. For the last couple of Christmas's and Halloween's I have found the whole push to deck the halls and carve the pumpkins just another chore versus something I enjoy doing. I have tried to analyze my disinterest and I have come to the conclusion that a big part of the problem is not the erection of the displays, but the eventual need to take it all down. Sometimes I have received a helping hand from rowdy teens with a penchant for smashing pumpkins or light bulb thieves with nothing better to do than snatch my spotlights or unscrew little coloured bulbs. Once I actually coated all the low lying bulbs with a thick coat of petroleum jelly (an idea a neighbour suggested) to prevent the ability to grip the little bulbs. (it worked by the way). I just wish these holidays were less frequent so I would have enough time in between to actually miss them. It's the notion that time seems to go faster as we get older I think. I vote we only celebrate each holiday every three years, so it would seem fresh again. And of course, there is the whole commercialism aspect of it all that really annoys me. I have been through strings of fat coloured bulbs, clear strings of mini lights, massive swaths of net lights, rope lights, and the most recent creation - those dull-ass LED lights. Even those have been through a couple of incarnations now. When people complained they were too dull compared to their old twinkly lights, they came out the next year (after we all bought them) with the "new improved, brighter version". Landfills must be piled sky high with tangled masses of lights of Christmas's past. And what of pumpkin carving? Whatever happened to a jack-o-lantern with triangle eyes and noses and a bunch of jagged teeth? Oh no - that is no longer good enough. Now we have to spend 3 days with stencilled templates creating detailed witches flying past the moon or exact replicas of the entire cast of a Harry Potter movie. I used to do all that, but now I suffer from Halloween and Christmas burnout. Not only did I carve intricate scenes on pumpkins, but I created and sewed costumes and erected elaborate fall displays with gourds and scarecrows and autumn flowers. No sooner would all that come down and the Christmas extravaganza would begin in earnest. I suppose part of my current lack of enthusiasm has to do with the fact that my daughter is no longer that little girl who was fascinated by all the holiday hoopla. Although I was never quite totally Griswold, I came pretty close. Now, I am leaning toward Scrooge. If I didn't risk being egged and soaped, I would just be one of those creepy houses that turns their lights off on Halloween night pretending not to be home, but I will inevitably give in to the pressure to shell out despite my secret desire to just forget the whole damn thing. It would be great if the kiddies were all cute and polite, dressed up as fairies and pirates, but now I also get these roving bands of 16 year olds carrying pillow cases, not wearing costumes, ringing my doorbell and expecting candy. Who the hell are these kids? They are scarier than the ghost and goblins. I have to wonder what their motivation is. They can't possibly be interested in mini-chocolate bars and tiny bags of chips....can they? I think they are more likely casing the joint, so they can perhaps come back later and get what they really want. It does beg the question, doesn't it? Shouldn't they be at a house party getting wasted with all their other under-aged peers? - not out trick or treating like 5 year olds? That's where I would have been at their age. Anyway - I digress. I got to thinking about all this as I drove to Stratford yesterday past some lovely old farms in the country. There were several farms with large displays of pumpkins for sale. Normally I might have stopped to pick up a few, but I just couldn't muster up the enthusiasm. It bores me now. What we need are some new ideas - some new holidays perhaps. Or....how about we combine all the holidays into one? Make one big effort for one a year and have it done with. We can call it "Gonutswithdecorations Day". I'm in.

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